tv Early Start CNN October 10, 2012 5:00am-7:00am EDT
my part and the part of the person having to teach him. >> he almost got it word for word, that 1949 report card. actually said and i quote, i believe he has ideas about becoming a scientist. on his present showing, this is quite ridiculous. if he can't learn simple biological facts, he would have no chance of doing the work of a specialist and it would be sheer waste of time on his part and those who have to teach him. gurdon still has that report card. he says it's the only thing he ever framed. now he has a nobel prize to go right alongside it. and that's it for us. thank you for watching. "early start" begins now. it came out warning. riveting new details of the attack in libya that killed a u.s. ambassador, a different story than we were told. a battle over big bird. shout out to both candidates on the campaign trail, now sesame street is saying stop! racial balance under the microscope of the supreme court. justices argue today over affirmative action and college admissions. big "newsday" here. good morning, welcome to "early
start. "i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. the state department is giving its most detailed account of the speed, severity and calculation behind last month's attack on the u.s. mission in benghazi in libya. the house oversight committee will weigh in on security failings during a hearing scheduled for later today. the state department saying the attack was not a spontaneous offshoot of protest and saying u.s. and security personnel in benghazi were outmanned and no reasonable security presentation could have fended off the assault. u.s. ambassador christopher stephens and three others were killed in the attack. arwa damon helps peace together what investigators say happened. >> reporter: amid the ashes, soot and debris, remnants of the life that was. it's all that remained in the unguarded u.s. consulate compound in benghazi when cnn
arrived on the scene three days after the september 11th attack. eyewitnesss told us it was a complex assault. the compound's first line of defense easily breached. according to one of the libyan guards who was stationed at the gate armed with only a radio, the assault happened simultaneously from three different directions. he says that he initially heard chanting growing increasingly louder and then suddenly the gunfire, the rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine gunfire all began attacking the compound. this is where ambassador chris stephens slept, part of a small suite also meant to be a makeshift safe room. here on the floor between the bed and the chair is where cnn found the ambassador's journal. it is also the same room where the ambassador was located hours after the attack first began. separated by smoke from his security detail.
the u.s. initially said the assault was the result of a demonstration that turned violent. >> putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted of course by the video. >> reporter: that was not the case. the state department is now saying that there was nothing unusual prior to the attack. at 8:30 p.m. everything was calm. and just over an hour later armed men launched their assault. libyan officials say they warned the americans on many occasions about the growing threat from extremists. the compound had already been attacked in june and there had been numerous attacks on other western interests in benghazi.
and yet it remained a poorly fortified soft target. documents recently obtained by cnn indicate that the state department's top security official in libya asked for extra security but received no response from superiors. why? it's just one of many questions still to be answered. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. our thanks to arwa for that reporting. elise lavit was on the kalas night that released the new details that released the oversight committee hearing this morning. today they are looking into the u.s. consulate in benghazi. elise, last night you learned more detail including the attackers could get into stephens safe room and set it on fire. what happened next? >> that's right, john. ambassador stephens, another gentleman shaun smith who died
in there and another security officer. as smoke filled up into the room, they couldn't get out and felt the window was unsafe. they made it to a bathroom where there was another window. the regional security officer tried to get both of those gentlemen out. proper procedure is that he gets out first and then brings the two people that he's guarding, turned around and found that ambassador stephens was not there. so what happened was this officer, other officers took turns going in to this burning building, heavy smoke, wasn't able to find ambassador stephens. did find shawn smith. hours later we understand people at the hospital, we are not sure really how ambassador stephens made it to the hospital, but we understand the hospital fished out a cell phone from his pocket and started calling people on this phone. people he received calls from and finally determined it was the ambassador. >> if you're looking for the time line, it seems heroing after the u.s. personnel left
the consulate, the attacks continued at the state department detailing a wild car chase in the streets of benghazi with an ak-47 and grenade attacks going on everywhere, more violent ultimately when they reached the compound. do you have more details on that? >> yes, when they reached the compound there was more firefighting. basically it was a sustained assault. that's what officials are telling us. sustained assault for several hours after they were able to calm the situation slightly, although there was still fire. the security officers determined they better get out of dodge and they basically evacuated the whole convoy of officials and were able to retrieve ambassador's stephen's body. >> the president said there's no reason for an attack like this in diplomatic history, but one security officer says they had publicly asked for more security and were basically denied.
>> this is one of the things, john, that's really so disturbing and we'll definitely see this go into this hearing today. eric nordstrum, top security officer in libya, asked for more guards at the state department. there are numerous requests for more armed guards at the benghazi facility and special security teams in the country to stay there and they received no response. they were told they needed to reduce resources to keep the security presence low. and we see what happened. and a lot of questions will be asked about whether there was enough security, but with the state department, they are saying, listen, there were 40 armed guards that night. this is an unprecedented attack as you said in history. and no amount of reasonable security presence would have been able to fend off those guards. i think that's one of the thing that is the committee will try to determine. >> that will be a key focus of the house committee hearing today. what else do you expect from the
hearing, elise? >> i think there's going to be a lot of questions about the timeline, about why the administration originally called it a spontaneous protest gone awry. i think there will be a lot of questions about the security that ambassador stephens and his team had asked for, not just in benghazi but also in the whole country of tripoli. and also about whether there were any warning signs, we know there were no warning signs at night. the intelligence community is looking for specific evidence that there was a planned attack, but if you see what happened in the months leading up to the attack, there was an attack in june with the ied and several other attacks on western targets on the british ambassador, on the united nations and the international committee of the red cross, and the question being here, did the intelligence community, did the embassy and its security personnel miss the signs here? was there a storm brewing that nobody was able to take care of
in the end? >> thank you, elise, live from the state department in our d.c. bureau. we'll hear a lot more about this today with the hearing beginning at noon eastern. keep it tuned to cnn and cnn.com for the latest throughout the day. a new cnn/orc poll showed mitt romney registered a big bounce in the buckeye state after the first presidential debate. likely ohio voters now have the president's lead dwindling to four points, that's well within the margin of error. that makes the race for ohio's 18 electoral votes a statistical tie. before the debate some polls showed the president leading by as many as ten points. no republican has won the presidency without carrying ohio. >> i think there's probably relief from the obama side that our poll shows him leading through. nine minutes after the hour, mitt romney is not running from big bird. in fact, he's embracing big bird after his pledge to cut funding from pbs. the obama camp went on the offensive accusing the republican nominee of trying to kill the popular "sesame street" character. but romney is not backing down. listen to what he told wolf
blitzer in "the situation room" last night. >> big sbird going to be just fine. "sesame street" is a very successful enterprise. i don't believe cnn gets government funding but somehow you all stay on the air. and i just think that pbs will be able to make it on its own and does not require us to go to china to keep pbs on the air. >> the battle over big bird has the folks at "sesame workshop" a little ruffled. they say this ad just doesn't fly. >> big yellow, a menace to our economy. >> we have been showing you. this ad mocks romney's position on this. but the producers would like it pulled. "sesame workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not open divorce candidates or participant in political campaigns. we have approve nod campaign ads
and is our general practice have requested that the ad be taken down." we'll see if big bird gets a mention tomorrow night in the vice presidential debate. joe biden versus paul ryan. cnn's live coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern. so people all over the country have the heat turned on a little earlier than expected this week. so rob marciano in atlanta, when will it feel like fall again? >> well, it does, right? i think a lot of people, october 15, for my father it was november 15, but october 15 is the time you turn it on and it is early this time of the year. you're right. waynesburg, pennsylvania, 21. waukesha, 26 degrees. we are in some cases 20 degrees below average as far as temperatures are concerned. 36 right now in minneapolis. 36 degrees in kansas city. 42 in chicago. you had a mild, windy day yesterday, but things are changing. we've got multiple pulses of cool air coming down from
canada. and not one but two or three shots of it coming through. 10 to 15 degrees below normal with this little clipper coming through today with some rain. on the backside is cool rain in places like minnesota and michigan seeing temperatures in the lower 40s with a little rain. also rain with temperatures in the 50s right now in new york, so kind of a miserable fall morning with temperatures in the 20s and 30s across the western slopes of the appalachians with the frost and freeze advisory there. there's the cool shot there. yeah, we are in for a couple days, maybe saturday and sunday we'll get temperatures a little closer to average and it won't feel so much like fall then. >> we are counting on that. rob marciano in atlanta, thank you very much. denied admission to the college of her dreams, a texas woman blames affirmative action. today her case is before the highest court in the land. we'll have a preview coming up. [ laughing ] [ laughing ]
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court will revisit the decades long debate over the use of affirmative action in college admissions. they upheld the policy in 2003 giving minority students a leg up at public colleges and universities. this one involves a white student suing the university of texas claiming she was denied entry at account of her race. joe johns has a preview. >> reporter: abigail fisher dreamed of going to the university of texas at austin for most of her life. after applying she didn't get in. attending louisiana state university instead. but the rejection from u.t. led fisher to file a lawsuit against the school claiming she was squeezed out, unfairly denied admission because of her race. she's white. she said in a statement, there were people in my class with lower grades who weren't in all the activities i was in who were being accepted into u.t. and the only other difference between us was the color of our skin. she declined an interview with cnn. whether race should be part of
the application process at the university of texas is the issue that will come before the supreme court on wednesday. edward bloom recruited abigail fish tore file the lawsuit. >> the most important question is should a university judge a student by his or her skin color when it comes time for admission? and the answer is no. >> reporter: here's how the admissions process at u.t. works. the top 10% of each high school class statewide gets in automatically. for those below the top 10% like abigail fisher who was in the 11%, the university uses what it calls a holistic review where race is one of many factors considered. one the university president bill powers says doesn't get much weight and didn't play a role in fisher's rejection. >> we take ethnicity at one of many factors in the holistic review to make sure that three quarters coming in under automatic admission, that we add to that with a quarter coming in where we can look for the other
characteristics, including diversity. >> i think she's fighting the wrong fight. >> reporter: minority student leaders on campus like bradley pool agree that the process is fair despite fisher's claims. >> saying race is one of the least parts of the holistic reviews process. it's one of the easiest things she could have gone against. >> reporter: some minority students are less deserving of admission than their white counterparts. >> to hear people saying that some of us latinos got in here easily and the only reason we got in here is because of our race, that's really disappointing. we worked just as hard as anyone else did to get into u.t. >> reporter: but conservative groups siding with fisher argue it's not just about getting in. studies show that using racial preferences can hurt minorities by starting them out near the bottom of their classes. >> if they're towards the bottom
of whatever class they go to, they are much more likely to give up on an ambition to major in science and engineering. >> reporter: almost a decade ago then justice sandra day o'connor wrote a majority opinion saying the university of michigan law school had a compelling interest in suggesting affirmative action may be needed for another 25 years. o'connor has since left the court leading the speculation that the court's conservatives could now strike a blow to preferences. joe johns, cnn, washington. >> a big case that will be before the supreme court today. all right. it is 5:19 in the morning. time for early reads, your local news making national headlines. up first, would you like more fries with that? an article in the tri-city harold says a surplus of idaho potatoes is hitting washington state potato farmers in the wallet. washington farmers are still digging up potatoes but there are already too many potatoes on the market driving prices down.
potato wars! there's been a significant increase in potato acreage this year, mostly in idaho. >> i say yes to more french fries. yes. and the delta georgia citizen has a story of a woman being reunited with her dog after being apart four years. heather jackson's siberian husky disappeared from her backyard four years ago but recently jackson got a call from a shelter hundreds of miles away in mchenry county, illinois. workers say someone dropped the dog off at a shelter in georgia and the dog was sent to illinois to avoid being put down. they found jackson through an i.d. microchip implanted in shakira. over the weekend jackson made the 700-mile drive to illinois to bring her beloved shakira back home. >> the microchip identifies so many dogs. >> now why didn't they find the owner earlier?
>> they won't check the chip unless she shows up in a shelter, which is what happened right there. coming up, a boss who may have crossed the line telling his employees who to vote for or else. there are a lot of warning lights and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything
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awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? welcome back. 24 minutes past the hour. u.s. stock futures pointing to a flat open this morning after markets closed lower today. >> in turning to business and
politics, christine has a story about mitt romney's other 47%. >> business and politics. my favorite. yeah, this is a small business from the third quarter showing that 47% of small business owners and entrepreneurs support mitt romney. 35% go for obama. what's interesting about this survey, actually obama has been gaining ground over the past month, month and a half among small business owners. when you look at swing states and the small business vote, 48% are leaning romney, 38% leaning obama. another interesting part of the survey about small business owners, they say they support mitt romney and they want his pledge of lower regulation, fewer taxes, getting government out of the way so small business can grow. they really like his pledge to take apart health care reform. but they say they think president obama will win. so that's an interesting part, they think president obama will win, but they would prefer a mitt romney presidency.
now, someone else who would prefer a not obama presidency, have you heard of the ceo named david siegal? >> no, i read this. it's incredible. >> he's the ceo who made a fortune during the boom, the period of easy money. what you're seeing right now is a documentary called "the queen of versaille" about he and his wife building this 90,000-square-foot home in florida that had to be shut down. he wrote a letter to all 7,000 employees saying, don't vote for obama. the economy doesn't currently pose a threat to your job. what does threaten your job, however, is another four years of the same presidential administration. he says people will lose their job if obama is still in the white house. he's kind a character, actually. >> he seems like a little pressure to be saying that to his 7,000 employees. >> he says he won't fire them, but keep in mind that an obama presidency would be bad. >> he talked about the recession
affecting his business and how he made it back. it is very detailed. >> christine romans, thank you very much. when we come back, what not to wear at the airport. body armor for one. and that is just the start of what one man had with him when trying to board a flight. we have the full story coming up. e gether, and these come together, one thing you can depend on is that these will come together. delicious and wholesome. some combinations were just meant to be. tomato soup from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. tomato soup from campbell's. online outfit piccolo headphones buy now broadway show megapixels place to sleep little roadster war and peace deep sea diving ninja app hipster glasses 5% cash back sign up to get 5% everywhere online through december. only from discover. inspiration. great power. iconic design. exhilarating performance. [ race announcer ] audi once again has created le mans history!
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trouble at toyota. the car giant recalling millions of vehicles over a power window problem that could become dangerous. stay tuned for that. welcome back to "early start." we are happy you are with us. i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. the most detailed account of the severe behind last month's attack on the u.s. mission in bengha benghazi. the house oversight committee will weigh in on security failings during a hearing later today. the state department saying the attack was not a spontaneous offshoot of protests and saying u.s. and libyan security personnel in benghazi were outmanned. that no reasonable security presence could have fended off the assault. u.s. ambassador chris stephens and three others were killed in that attack. arwa damon helps piece together what investigators now say happened. >> reporter: ashes, soot and debris. remnants of the life that was.
it's all that remained in the unguarded u.s. consulate compound in benghazi when cnn arrived on the scene three days after the september 11th attack. eyewitnesss told us it was a complex assault. the compound's first line of defense easily breached. according to one of the libyan guards stationed at the gate armed with only a radio, the assault happened simultaneously from three different directions. he say that is he initially heard chanting growing increasely louder, then the rocket fire, rocket-propelled grenades and the heavy machinery fire began attacking the compound. this is where ambassador stephens slept. part of a small suite also meant to be a makeshift saferoom. here on the floor between the bed and the chair is where cnn found the ambassador's journal. it is also the same room where the ambassador was located hours
after the attack first began. separated by smoke from his security detail. the u.s. initially said the assault was the result of a demonstration that turned violent. >> putting together the best information that we have available to us today, current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, a spontaneous attack to what happened in cairo hours before. almost a copycat against our facility in cairo, which of course were prompted by the video. >> reporter: that was not the case. the state department is now saying that there was nothing unusual prior to the attack. at 8:30 p.m. everything was calm. and just over an hour later armed men launched their assault. libyan officials say they warned the americans on many occasions about the growing threat from extremists. the compound had already been
attacked in june and there had been numerous attacks on other western interests in benghazi. and yet it remained a poorly fortified soft target. documents recently obtained by cnn indicate that the state department's top security official in libya asked for extra security but received no response from superiors. why? it's just one of many questions still to be answered. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. thank you to arwa damon for that report. the house oversight committee will take a closer look at security failings at the u.s. consulate in benghazi today. of course, all the new information adding to the confusion. the hearing beginning at 2:00 p.m. eastern. cnn will be honoring it all for you and bringing you the latest developments. after arousing performances in the first debate, mitt romney is supporting middle-class deductions and he's firing back
to the white house that his numbers don't add up. mark preston is live from danville, kentucky, this morning. thank you for being with us, mark. they say that the devil is in the details and we are not getting too many details from mitt romney, are we? >> reporter: no, we are not. in fact, we started an interview yesterday with wolf blitzer in "the situation room" where he discuss what had he would want to do. let's hear what he told wolf. >> well, i'm not going to lay out a piece of legislation here because i intend to work together with republicans and democrats in congress, but there are a number of ways one could approach this. one would be to have a global cap number, it could be 25,000, $50,000. and people could put whatever deduction in the total cap they would like, or instead take the posture that bowles-simpson did going after certain numbers and limiting them in ways.
there are a number of ways we can accomplish what i have. >> reporter: yesterday on cnn mitt romney talked about what he would do if elected president when it comes to taxes. when he talked about the home mortgage reduction, this is something that appeals to a lot of people. heading into the closing days, zoraida, it is important to reach out to everybody. this is going to be a very close race. we have seen it as polls are closing right now. the new confident mitt romney we are seeing that on display and we saw that yesterday. >> the polls are coming out fast and furious. you are in kentucky, the site of the presidential debate, what can you tell us about the two sides? >> reporter: two veteran members of congress will be squaring off. joe biden in congress since the '70s and we have paul ryan, the budget chairman. a lot of people say that joe biden has the upper hand because he's been around longer, but let's not underestimate paul ryan. he is a very effective
communicator and has been studying very hard. he's been in florida just prepping for the debate. we expect him to arrive here in kentucky later tonight. joe biden has been at his home in delaware going over the strategy. so i don't expect him to come out swinging necessarily. a lot of people think that's going to happen given what happened to president obama last week in the debate where mitt romney clearly won, but expect joe biden to punch back. >> there are some really high expectations of paul ryan, right? early on, everybody was saying they thought he would beat up joe biden. >> reporter: true. but again, we have two veteran members of congress, they know how to debate. they know how to go toe-to-toe. i think we'll be evenly matched tomorrow night. >> it will be fun to watch. thank you so much. mark preston. >> you can watch it right here on cnn. our coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. eastern time. 37 minutes after the hour. a body armor on a boston man.
he was flying when he got stopped inside lax. they found a smoke grenade, a hatchet, knives and other weapons, a full-face respirator, body bags and a bio hazard suit. 28-year-old wong harris is charged with transporting hazardous materials, using naturalized u.s. citizen and he's scheduled to be in court later this week. i have questions for him. >> no kidding. a dying woman is accusing the tsa of humiliating her and embarrassing her on the last trip she's ever likely to take. 34-year-old michelle dunai has leukemia. she was carrying a lot of drugs to hawaii last week and cleared them with her airline ahead of time. when she got to security at seattle airport, tsa agents punctured one of her saline bags, refused her request for
private screening and forced her to lift her shirt to pull back her bandages in front of everyone. >> when somebody wants to take a trip, especially what i call an end-of-life trip because you want to see your family and friends, then it's even more important than just taking a trip. >> the tsa says it has reviewed videotape of the incident and it insist that is proper procedures were followed. a huge auto recall. toyota is recalling 7.5 million cars due to a problem with its power windows, including roughly 2.5 million vehicles in the u.s. the japanese automaker says a driver-side window on some models could stick because of a problem during the assembly process. the most common fix is applying a lubricant to the switch that could result in a fire. president obama is focused on the key battleground state of ohio. has it paid off? brand new poll numbers and analysis coming right up.
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a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
as we have been reporting all morning, new information is contradicting what the administration said about the deadly attack at the american consulate in libya. two officials are now saying there was never a protest before it happened. this is all coming out just hours before the house oversight hearing holds a hearing on the attack. i'm joined by lane mcalister here and here in studio i have roland martin. i want to start with you this morning because it was at the univision forum on september 20th president obama was asked about the attack in libya and this is what he had to say. >> what we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm u.s.
interests. >> so that was september 20th. the president still offering the possibility that the attack in benghazi happened after protests that were over this islamic video. now the state department says that's not the case. is this harmful to president obama? >> in the sense it makes it sound like there's a failure of intelligence in terms of the knowledge. also for this to these hearings to take place in the middle of the presidential election. it is going to come up in debates as well. and so you want to be clear or salvage it and make sure you know exactly what's happening. early on, you don't hear this out of washington, d.c., we don't know yet, but i think that was his total rush to lets get an answer versus what's the correct answer in terms of what's going on. it makes the white house look confused and the state department look confused. that's a problem to the american people. >> mitt romney was critical of how the administration was handling this. does this provide justification?
>> his initial criticism dealt with what took place in egypt. so it was not necessarily the criticism of what took place in libya. so i wouldn't be surprised if obviously his folks are going to jump on this as well, but this also was a volatile situation where we were not sure what the heck was going on. again, the problem is when you assign what took place when you don't know what for sure took place on the ground. >> this seems to be politicized by republicans and democrats, isn't it fair to suggest that maybe the republicans are pushing too hard here and that this isn't political, that the information is becoming available as it becomes available? >> they have pushed too hard previously. it will be interesting to see what they do over the next several days with both the vice presidential debate coming up and the second presidential debate coming up. one of the thing that is the romney campaign has miscalculated is their
definition of presidential -- they have seen this as aggressive and showing strong and might where presidential also means having temperance. having poise and having patience. that's what you saw previously not being applied with the benghazi situation before. let's see if they do it now because this is one of the first times last wednesday that governor romney looked presidential at a time where president obama did not. now, with these issues and the new details coming out, it looks even worse for the administration. and if governor romney and his campaign can take a step back and look presidential in a more holistic way, not only show the strengths in some of the tough talk they have been doing, but show poise and temperature rans with their approach as the details come out, i think it can play well for them and can go very well for them going into the second debate. >> that's interesting advice. you're advising restraint to the romney campaign. let's move on to the swing state polls because there's a lot of interesting numbers we are seeing. just yesterday you were saying to me let's wait until we see
numbers from the battleground states. if you look a ohio, michigan, new hampshire, president obama's lead before the first debate is shrinking a lot. in some cases he's still ahead in the states, but clearly the debate made a big difference. >> it was the evidence i was looking for as you got inside the 30-day window of the election. you are going to see a natural shrinkage. also, 2008, huge election for president obama. how many points did he win ohio by? >> four. >> four. and so look to 2004. this election is going to compare to 2004. president george w. bush beat senator john kerry by 110,000 votes in iowa. he wins the presidency. this was going to be natural from day one. the obama supporters were excited about the early polls. they said that makes no sense whatsoever because this is going to be a tight election. >> lenny, quick question to you, four points is four points.
no moral victory here. if he gets close, he still loses ohio, mitt romney, so doesn't the bounce need to be bigger than it is? >> no. we also thought president obama was going to knock romney out of the box and that didn't happen. the lead slunk in a way we didn't expect and the debate went a completely different direction. this bounces more than happens the campaign expected and president obama and his campaign have to fix this immediately. >> this is why we watch it. >> this is why we run. >> it's a wild ride. thank you for being on with us. take care. 48 minutes past the hour. controversy at a minnesota high school. it's not what is in the yearbook what has students upset. it is what is not in it. that story coming up.
51 minutes past the hour. here's christine romans with the top stories. >> good morning. the house oversight committee is looking into the u.s. consulate attack that happened in benghazi. last month's assault killed ambassador chris stephens and three others. the names of the boy scout sex abuse case have been released, and it was nearly 1,900. some students in minnesota are upset saying pictures in the public school's yearbook are
being censored. the school is not allowing a photo of a teen and her baby and it is not allowing the remembrance page for a student who killed himself. the school is standing by years of tradition showing only one student in a senior photo. school officials all say experts advise them not to start a remembrance page but some hard feelings happening in the school right now. >> good stuff. 52 minutes past the hour, a packed hour ahead on "early start" including the desperate search for 10-year-old jessica ridgeway who left for school five days ago and has not been seen since. the only sign of her, a backpack six miles from her colorado home. police say a new home video may help you spot her. also, a crazy hit-and-run caught on tape. a man was going -- oh, my! he was plowed by a car. somehow he survives. whoa! now he's speaking out. >> that's tough to watch. plus an incredible story fit for a movie. a message from the past found in
the forest. and the search for the teenager hiker who wrote it 40 years ago. is he still alive? "early start" comes back right after the break. with the spark miles card from capital one, thor's couture gets the most rewards of any small business credit card. your boa! [ garth ] thor's small business earns double miles on every purchase, every day! ahh, the new fabrics, put it on my spark card. [ garth ] why settle for less? the spiked heels are working. wait! [ garth ] great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one.
welcome back to "early start." 57 minutes after the hour. here is what is trending on the internet this morning. >> well, first, fat chance, santa claus. neiman marcus is out with its 86th christmas book featuring nine fantasy gifts. are you curious? for $150,000 you can be the envy of every sports fan in the parking lot with this bullet bourbon tailgate trailer complete with a flat-screen
television, state-of-the-art sound system and leather furniture. or if you want to beat the traffic to the game, there's the jet lab r-200 jet pack. price tag of $100,000. if i had the money i would buy one for you and set it off. >> i like the trailer thing. check this out, this is one big fish. and ozark couple caught this rare and massive 85-pound catfish while fishing in the missouri river. look at that. the monster is more than twice the size she's been pulling up. it is not going in the deep fryer. she's going to keep it alive and hope to find it a home. i don't know what that means, like a zoo? that's crazy. >> one big fish tank. jimmy fallon welcomes a visitor to mr. romney's neighborhood in this edition of late night laughs. >> mr. romney. >> hello, mr. obama. you remember mr. obama, right? last week at the debate mr.
obama taught us a new word. choke. what brings you to the neighborhood today? >> well, since my sleepy performance at the debate, mr. romney, my wife michelle has insisted that i pick up some new job skills. so i'm now a mailman part-time. and, oh, look here, special delivery, october jobs report, and the unemployment numbers are down. so in your face. >> that's just wonderful. did you know mr. obama is the president of the united states? it's a very important job. you have to make big decisions and you're in charge of a lot of people for four years. >> mr. romney, i think you made a mistake, i think you mean eight years. >> you see, kids, mr. obama just did something called using your imagination. >> actually, if you take a look at the polls, you will see a
number of the key states -- >> all he's missing is the sweater. "early start" continues right now. it came without warning. riveting new details of the attack in libya that killed a u.s. ambassador. a different story than we story told. racial balance under the microscope at the supreme court. a huge case. justices hear cases over affirmative action over college admissions. left for dead. take a look. a man mowed down by a hit and run driver. look at that, folks. he actually live toss tell ab l it. i'm glad we are talking about it. good morning to you. welcome to "early start." i'm szoraida sambolin. detailed account of speed, severity and calculation of the
u.s. mission in benghazi in libya. the house commission will weigh in on this later today. the state department saying the attack was not -- was not a spontaneous off shoot of protests and saying that u.s. and libyan security personnel were out manned. no reasonable security presence could have fended off the assault. cyhristopher setevens and three others were hurt. >> reporter: amid the ashes, soot, and debris, remnants of the life that was. it's all that remained in the unguarded u.s. consulate compound in benghazi when cnn arrived on the scene three days after the september 11th attack. eyewitnesses told us it was a complexes assault. the compound's first line of defense easily breached. according to one of the libyan guards stationed at the gate,
armed with only a radio, the assault happened simultaneously from three different directions. he says that he initially heard chanting growing increasingly louder and then suddenly the gunfire, the rocket pro felled grenades, and other heavy machine gunfire all began attacking the compound. this is where ambassador chris stevens slept. part of a small sweep also meant to be a makeshift safe room. here on the floor between the bed and the chair is where cnn found the ambassador's journal. it is also the same room where the ambassador was located hours after the attack first began, separated by smoke from his security detail. the u.s. initially said the assault was a result of a demonstration turned violent. >> putting together the best information that we had available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous
reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the demonstrations against our facility in cairo, which were prompted, of course, by the video. >> reporter: that was not the case. the state department is now saying that there was nothing unusual prior to the attack. at 8:30 p.m., everything was calm. and just over an hour later, armed men launched their assault. libyan officials say they warned the americans on many occasions about the growing threat from extremists. the compound had already been attacked in june, and there had been numerous t attacks on other western interests in benghazi. and yet it remained a poorly fortified soft target. documents recently obtained by cnn indicate that the state department's top security official in libya asked for extra security but received no response from superiors.
why? it's just one of many questions still to be answered. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. they were on the state department call last night when released a few details. in a few hours they will look into security failings in the benghazi assault. last night you learned the attackers couldn't get into steve stevens' safe room so they put it on fire. what's next? >> that's right, zoraida. smoke and fumes filled the air. stevens and the security guard were really having trouble breathing. they decided to move to a bathroom where there was a little bit more air. that proved to be unsuccessful. they decided to try to leave through an adjacent berm. as they were moving there, the security officer, protocol deck
tates he try to get out first, when he turned around, ambassador stevens and sean smith were not there, the security officer and several officers took turns going into the smoke-filled, fire-filled building to try to find ambassador stevens and shawn smith. they did find shawn but they did not find ambassador stevens. we found out later that ambassador stevens had been taken to a hospital. they found his pocket and found his cellphone and started calling people who were listed in the phone and finally found out, reached the embassy to tell them he was there. >> oh, my goodness. after u.s. personnel left the consulate, the attacks continued. the state department detailing a wild car chase through the streets of benghazi. akk-47 grenade attacks. can you give us more details on that? >> dozens of heavy armed men, zoraida, we understand, were at this annex.
long-term firefight over several hours. still intermittent firefight. this building was somewhat secure but at some point the security officers dealing with tripoli, with the embassy, decided to evacuate the entire team. as we know the entire team left benghazi that night. >> they say there is no attack like this in diplomatic history. one security officer who had been pulled from libya had said publicly that he had told the state department there was not enough security. any more on that? >> zoraida, we're talking about lieutenant colonel andy wood, head of the so-called security support team which was based in benghazi but also helping out -- based in tripoli, helping out in benghazi, asked for an extension of that mission and state department said no. let's take a listen to what he said to cbs news. he's going to be testifying this morning at that oversight hearing. let's take a listen.
>> -- or continued security that we had, that we had known, that we had come to live with and work with there for the environment we had, we felt we needed more, not less. >> and, zoraida, when asked who felt that you needed to do more with less, he said the state department superiors. and we also hear that eric who will also be testifying today, a former regional top security officer in libya, had repeatedly asked the state department for additional personnel for benghazi, received no response several times, zoraida. this is going to be a key focus, i believe, at that hearing this morning. >> so many concerning details we're hearing. we appreciate it, elise. today's libya attack hearing begins at noon eastern time the keep it tuned to cnn and cnn.com for the latest throughout the day. call it a buckeye bounce, mitt romney making big gains in ohio after the first debate. this is a new cnn/orc poll.
the president's lead is shrinking there within the margin of error. 18 electoral votes, a statistically tie. some polls show the president leading with a a. few points. mitt romney is not afraid of big bird after he promised to cut fund for pbs. the obama camp went on the attack, accusing romney of trying to kill the feathered sesame street character. listen to what he told wolf blitzer in "the situation room" last night. >> big bird is going to be just fine. "sesame street" is a successful enterprise. i don't believe cnn gets funding but somehow y'all stay on the air. i just think that pbs will be able to make it on its own just like every one of the other stations and does not require us to go to china to borrow money to keep pbs on the air. the brouhaha at the official
news word over big birds a the producers of big entered a little peeved. they say this ad from the obama campaign does not fly with them. >> big, yellow, a menace to our economy. >> the ad launched mitt romney's position on pbs airing nationally on cable, they say, but creators of big bird want it pulled. they say, "sesame workshop" is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns biological weapon have approved no campaign ads, and as is our general practice, we have requested that the ad be taken down. we'll see what happens tomorrow night. joe biden versus paul ryan. cnn's coverage begins at 7:00 p.m. >> brouhaha is not an official word, mr. berman. amazing video. charlotte, north carolina, man is super lucky to be alive after getting mowed down by that hit and run driver. shawn lewis was on his way to
work early saturday morning when he was hit. he went flying through the air. the driver stopped, got out of the car and got back into his car and drove off. miraculously lewis was able to get up and walk away six minutes later. yeah. >> i remember waking up. i was bleeding. my hand was all messed up. my leg was messed up. could have helped me out some way. i know god had my back. that's all i know. god was looking out for me. >> yes, indeed, mr. lewis. the incident was captured by a security camera at a nearby pawn shop. the owner watched it fearing the worse. he couldn't believe his eyes when he saw lewis get up and walk away. police are still looking for the driver. this just in to cnn. two american scientists have been awarded the nobel prize in chemistry. it was not zoraida again. robert j. leftowitz and brian k.kabilka. the announcement made in the
last few minutes by the royals swedish academy of sciencing. >> denied admission to the college of her dreams. she blames affirmative action. today her case is before the highest court in the land. we have a preview coming up. every picture tells a story. of course, some stories are bigger than others. okay guys, here we go. everybody say, 'cheeeeeeeee-eeeeeese'. got it.
welcome back. this morning a supreme court will hear arguments, important affirmative action case. it involves a student, abigail fisher, sued the university of texas after her college application was rejected back in 2008. fisher claims she was turned away because she is white. cnn's joe johns is live in washington for us. joe, what are we expecting today? >> zoraida, it's just arguments today, but the case has the potential to come out as a very hard fought and close case, a case that could change the way students all over the country get admitted to college and whether it's okay to use race as a small factor in the admission
process to achieve diversity. as you said, this case is about a woman named abigail fisher who says she was denied admission to the university of texas because of her race. she's white. she didn't get in. she ended up going to louisiana state university. the university of texas allows the top 10% from each texas high school to basically go to the university. then everybody else is subjected to something called holistic review. abigail fisher was in the top 11% of her class. the question is really whether it's okay to use race in the calculation when you use this narrowly tailored program to achieve diversity. >> i know earlier when we ired your package we talked about race being part of the review process. do we know how important race -- not important, but how they factor race? is it one of many things that they factor in, is it more significant than other aspects? >> right. the way it's been described to me by a lot of people -- and we
even talked to the university president, sort of one small part. a factor of a factor of a factor. >> okay. >> none the less, it's still in there and, you know, it could really affect the way people get in for years and years. the question, of course, is whether the court rules very broadly on this or rules very narrowly. and, zoraida, it's another interesting fact here, is that justice alaelena kagan has recud herself with this case because she dealt with it just a bit byte when she was solicitor in a lower court. that means that there are eight justices actually working on this which opens up the possibility of a 4-4 tie on the vote. if so, the precedent stands. >> this could have future implications for affirmative action in college admissionses as a whole, right? >> absolutely. it could. it's a question of whether they
rule broadly, narrowly, whether they say this just applies to the university of texas in this case, or whether we're throwing out racial preferences entirely. it has the potential to have some very far-reaching effects. >> joe sons, i know that you are closely monitoring this. so will affirmative action change as we know it? lee bollinger weighs in on that. people all over the country has the heat turned on earlier than expected this week. rob, it's a little bit cold out there. rob marciano in atlanta, when is the it going to warm up? >> march, april. i'm curious, what's the day when you guys turn the heat on in your house? >> i already turned it on. i was really cold. i typically don't this time of year. >> i don't even know how to work it yet. >> his wife handles the heating in the house it. >> gets turned on somehow. >> that's right. kids grab an extra blanket. throw on the long john, you're fine until christmas. these are some of the low temperatures yesterday morning.
wansburg, pennsylvania, 21. that's certainly enough to convince dad to throw on the heater for sure. temps in the 30s. couple of cool shots across the great lakes. averaging 10 to 15 degrees below normal here the next couple of days. rain is associated with this latest pulse is currently 45 degrees and raining in detroit. kind of nasty. also raining in new york city. temperatures in the 50s here. that will probably dry out a little bit this afternoon, until the next cool shot that comes through. and then temperatures will rebound nicely. it looks like. but not until sunday. when i say nicely, getting closer to average. temperatures will be more seasonable as we get towards sunday. tomorrow morning in the 20s and 30s. it will be frosty as far south as nashville, tennessee. but fear not, 54 degrees on saturday. and new york city that is chilly but maybe near 60 on sunday. >> fear not, says rob marciano. great to see you today.
>> likewise. now, to remarkable story from california. teenager's handwritten note he left on a california mountain peak found its way back to him 40 years later. the note from 13-year-old tim taylor asks the person finding it to contact him. fast forward four decades. that's just what happened. >> so i thought it would be interesting to write to him, see if we could contact him and let him know we found the note like he asked. >> i remember climbing up. i remember having lunch at the top leaving the the note. i remember climbing back down. i wanted to leave -- you know, leave evidence that i had been there and hopefully some day, someone else would climb the mountain and find it and, lo and behold, 40 years later, that came to pass. >> what a great story. taylor says he left the note on a trip with his boy scout troop. i suggest that you do that with your little boys. that would be really cool,
right? that's incredible. >> amazing. 19 minutes after the hour right now. he said the white house cooked the books and fudged the unemployment numbers. former big time ceo jack welsh is not backing down one bit. we'll have that story coming up. yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again.
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market that everyone is worried about. some people just can't seem to stop talking about the surprising job numbers last week. >> by some people we mean jack, today in the "wall street journal" he's got an opinion piece called "i was right about that strange jobs report." et cetera talk about jack welch still stirring the pot on this. almost all bona fide economists, many who have advised both, you know, presidents of both parties have said there was a statistically anomaly showing the unemployment rate fell but only 114,000 jobs were created and anomalies after when you look at a long series of data. jack welch, the 7.8% unemployment figure released by the bureau of labor statistics last week is down right implausible. this is a tweet, unbelievable jobs numbers. these chicago guys will do
anything. can't debate so change numbers. >> let's be clear. when people were really most upset about is jack welch directly saying that somehow the obama campaign twisted the numbers. >> right. and, look, you can talk about how debt are collected, you can talk about statistically anomalies, about the fact that the recovery has been subpar. that's what jack welch is saying he's right about, the recovery has been supposed par. everyone was having that real conversation. but to say that someone directly changed the numbers because the debate performance by the president wasn't good was something that was way out of the mainstream and that's what jack welch got all that attention about. he's now having a discussion in this op-ed basically talking about all the things we talk about every month about the jobs report. that it's been a subpar recovery. 7.8% still feels bad for a lot of people. you could see it revised up again. look, these long data series. i've been covering this one for 14 years. these long data series sometimes have these ups and downs.
two different surveys that they put together. let's look at the trend then. if you agree that it was a statistically anomaly that dropped to 7.8%. look at the trend overall. the trend has been moving lower. that's why when you look at data like this you want to look at the trend in the unemployment rate. that's what we see there. >> he wrote in there, i'm not sorry for the heated debate that ensued. i'm not the first person to question government numbers and hopefully i won't be the left. >> skepticism is great but doing that is not helpful. i'm not sure can jack welch believes this but after four years of layoffs teaching jobs are finally coming back. when we scrutinized the labor data over the last three months teachers are not having the mass layoffs they once were. not much teachers added to keep up with the new kids in the classroom but the layoffs at least for now has slowed down. >> very good news. >> good news. all right. 26 minutes after the hour right now. a concerned father sticking up
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problem that could become dangerous. welcome back to "articearly start." >> we're going to start with the state department giving the most detailed account yet of the speed, brutality, and calculation behind last month's attack in bengzi in libya. attack was not, it was not a spontaneous off shoot of protests and saying u.s. and libyan security personnel in benghazi were outmanned. there was no reasonable security presence that could have fended off the assault, they say. u.s. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans were killed there. senior international correspondent arwa damon helps us piece together what happened. amid the ashes, soot and debris, remnants of the life that was. it's all that remained in the unguarded u.s. consulate compound in benghazi when cnn arrived on the scene three days after the september 11th attack.
eyewitnesses told us it was a complex assault. the compound's first line of defense easily breached. according to one of the libyan guards who was stationed at the gate, armed with only a radio, the assault happened simultaneously from three different directions. he says that he initially heard chanting growing increasingly louder and then suddenly the gunfire, the rocket pro felled grenades, and other heavy machine gunfire all began attacking the compound. this is where ambassador chris stevens slept. part of a small suite, also meant to be a makeshift safe room. here on the floor between the bed and the chair is where cnn found the ambassador's journal. it is also the same room where the ambassador was located hours after the attack first began. separated by smoke from his security detail. the u.s. initially said the assault as a result of a demonstration turned violent.
>> putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in benghazi was, in fact, initially a spontaneous reaction to what had just transpired hours before in cairo, almost a copycat of the sdm demonstrations against our facility in cairo which was prompted, of course, by the video. >> reporter: that was not the case. the state department is now saying there was nothing unusual prior to the attack. at 8:30 p.m., everything was calm. and just over an hour later, armed men launched their assault. libyan officials say they warned the americans on many occasions about the growing threat from extremists. the compound had already been attacked in june and there had been numerous attacks on other western interests in benghazi. and yet, it remained a poorly fortified soft target.
documents recently obtained by cnn indicate that the state department's top security official in libya asked for extra security but received no response from superiors. why, is just one of many questions still to be answered. arwa damon, cnn, beirut. national guardsmen who headed a lead security force in libya will testify in front of the congressional committee today. earlier this week he told cbs news he asked for more help prior to the killing of ambassador stevens. >> for enhanced or continued security that we had, that we had known, that we had come to live with and work with there for the environment we had, we felt we needed more, not less. >> the congressional hearings today on the libya attack begin at noon eastern time. keep it tuned to cnn and cnn.com for the latest throughout the day. 34 minutes past the hour. after a rousing performance and the first presidential debate,
mitt romney is promising to protect home mort taj and charitable tax deductions for the middle class. he's firing back at the white house over claims that his tax cut numbers don't add up. cnn political director mark preston is live from danville, kentucky, for thus morning. they say, mark, that the devil is in the details. we're t not getting too many of those details from mitt romney, are we? >> no, we're not, zoraida. we don't expect to. certainly as we are heading into the closing days of this election, mitt romney was on "the situation room" yesterday with woflf blitzer and he addressed what he would do with the tax plan. let's take a listen. >> well, i'm not going to layout a piece of legislation here because i tend to work together with republicans and democrats in congress but there are a number of ways one could approach this. one would be to have a total cap number and people could put whatever deduction in that total cap they would like or, instead, you could take the posture that
boel simpson did which is limit that in various ways. there are a number of ways we can accomplish the principles which i have. >> reporter: and there you have mitt romney on "the situation room" yesterday, zoraida, talking about what his tax plan would be. again, very broad stroked. certainly trying to appeal as many voters as he can in these closing days of the election. zoraida? >> we caught you with some show and tell there. what do you have in your hands? >> live tv as you say. you know, they're talking about tomorrow night being a prize fight here in danville, kentucky. check out this poster they have created down here. i know john berman loves it that crazy political guy that he is. but it just goes to show you how enthused they are here in danville. paul ryan and joe biden facing off bed hind me. a lot of people are talking about how this is going to be one of these situations where it is going to be a rock em sock em debate. they're both going to be seated
at a debate. i don't think we're going to see the prize fight as we're seeing here in this foster. >> we'll see what we're talking about after the fact. it's definitely must watch tv. mark preston, thank you so much. >> hopefully he will bring back a copy of that poster for us here. thanks, mark. 36 minutes after the hour. toyota says it is recalling almost 7 1/2 million cars due to a problem with its power windows, including roughly 2 1/2 million vehicles in the u.s. the japanese automaker said the driver side window switch on some models could stick because of a problem during the assembly process. the most common fix, applying a lubricant to the switch could result in a fire. investigators say an 18-year-old student shot and killed by campus police at the university of south alabama had lsd in his system. here's a picture of hinlg. 18-year-old was shot early saturday morning. the mobile county sheriff's office said he was naked and had attacked two people before a
run-in with officers outside campus police station. and a texas dad is trying to protect his 14-year-old son from bullying by calling out his school. he is home from his job training -- he was a training police officer in afghanistan. he's been spending several hours a day outside his son max' middle school wearing a sign that says bullying victims are punished here. that's because max finally fought back and wound up getting suspended for it. >> he feels that nobody has been listening to him and then when he finally has to take matters into his own hands, he gets punished. he's at the point where, you know, dad, i couldn't walk away. he just tos me and beats up on me all the time. >> school district officials say federal laws prevent them from commenting on this case. president obama is focused on the key battleground state of ohio. the question is, has it paid off? brand new poll numbers and analysis coming right up.but m . [ male announcer ] truth is,
all right. we have a special guest here. soledad o'brien who has been burning huh her blackberry during the debate. >> going to be talking about affirmative action. lots of controversy over that today. the supreme court gets ready to take it up again. the last time in 2003 this should be a decision that would not be made in 25 years. it's been nine years and they're talking about it again. could bit struck down? woman with terminal cancer says she was humiliated by the tsa at the airport. agency is telling a different story about what happened that day. what really what happened? a world famous singer is getting ready to be among the
stars, literally among the stars, not the superstars, the stars. singer sarah brightman apparently always fascinate with space and now she's booked a flight. she will be going to space and she talks to us about that. tiger woods to arnold schwarzenegger, is it ever okay to cheat? >> seriously? >> seriously. there's a new how-to book. as if men need a how to book on how to cheat. >> is it for men? >> it is for men by men. needless to say they're going to join us and we can rip them to shreds this morning about their new book. >> i can join in? >> joe derosa and robert kelly, comedians. we'll talk to them ahead this morning as well. >> looking forward to that, soledad. >> i bet you. >> you are all good. 43 minutes past the hour. the family of a professional basketball player from connecticut has filed a $210 million wrongful death lawsuit one year after he was killed in a post-game bar fight in romania. 23-year-old hardy was celebrating a victory when he was attacked in this city of
jorju. the family is suing hardy's attacker. the romanian basketball league, his coach, and the two doctors who treated hardy. expecting a cool space ran day view, a space exrobotic cargo ship approaching the international pace space this morning. if all goes as planned it will cautiously approach the station and then get grabbed by its huge robotic arm. that's in about half an hour. the capsule is loaded with supervis supplies. it's slated to stick around there for three weeks. two senior state department officials now say there was owe oh there never was a protest before the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in libya. that flies right in the face of what the administration was initially saying. and this is all coming out just hours before the house oversight committee holds a hearinging on that attack. so we are joeined now by republican strategist lenny mcallister. nice to see you. and in the studio, cnn political
analyst roland martin. >> hey. >> hey. >> so i want to start with you. i want to play something that the president said during the forum and then i want to chat with both of you about this. >> what we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video, were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they could also directly harm this. >> the protests did not cause this. we have a lot of reports coming out of the state department. should the president have known better? >> well, a question of what did you know at the very moment. part of the problem is, when you look at when did the fbi actually get there to find out exactly what took place? i believe what happened was there was such a desperation to get an answer out that explains it. i remember early on you heard all kinds of examples, in terms of, oh, it was a protest, it was linked to what happened in egypt. then you had 9/11.
the last thing folks want to own up to is we don't know or we have to find out. and i think frankly, that played a huge role in this. and this is why it was so confusing when you heard so many conflicting stories as opposed to waiting to get out of the facts. frankly, they didn't. that's why you have these different stories. i heard ambassador susan rice, what did she say? she said what we know today. you're going to hear a lot of that. we knew -- at the time we thought it was this, now we learned. >> but they were, you know, jumping to that conclusion rather quickly. actually, lenny, romney took advantage of that very early on. do you think that he is going to continue to use that now during his campaign? >> he's going to use it but we he's going to use it in a different way. i think he's going to be less inclined to jump into the fray immediately without letting the facts come out himself because he got bitten behind when he jumped out and spoke too soon as well. plus, he also understands that as the administration is having a hard time explaining all of this, as more facts come out and
we see these contradictions, it's better to allow your opponent to continue to make their mistakes and stay out of their way while they're making these mistakes, specifically while this foreign debate policy -- foreign policy debate comes up over the course of next couple of days. this was supposed to be the strong suit of the obama administration. the point that the republicans don't want to talk about when it comes to this presidential campaign, now it is something back on the table. and the more that governor romney feels confident and looks presidential, the more he can address these issues with confidence as we approach the 16th. >> also, he can't be -- continue to be so broad. look, when it came to his tax policy, same thing. romney wants to be broad. he gave this big foreign policy speech on monday. in many ways he was echoing the exact same position of president obama. and so he has to make clear, of course, what are you going to do differently in what we've seen? >> criticism for now going -- wait a minute, joe. i'm going to lose you. i'm going to lose out on time
here if we don't talk about the polls and we need to talk about the polls because they're changing a little here. ahead of the cnn polls that we have and the key t battleground states. i want to put those up for everybody to see. and, roland, what's happening here? >> easy. >> campaign, a little worried about that? >> what's happening here is called an election. this was not going to be some kind of blowout. this election was always -- that's who we're talking about here. >> it was always going to be a tight race. okay? this is about a ground game. this is about getting your base voters out, early voters, the registration, this week in some states. early voting has already started in some places. you are going to see this. obviously the debates played a role in it but obama supporters howl hype twod weeks ago because of those polls i was saying then, you're nuts if you think this is going to hold up. this is going to be reminiscent of 2004 when president george w. bush won ohio by 10,000 votes and went back into the white house. this is not going to be a blowout. >> final word here? >> roland's correct, this is a
race and it's going to come down to finish and it is about getting the base out. let's be clear, we did not expect the polls to move in this direction after the first debate. we expected president obama to come out stronger in the debate. we expected governor romney to kind of have to make sure he could shift to the middle successfully and have to defend himself for some of the gaffes he's had over the last several weeks. he was not even in a position he had to defend himself and president obama did not do well last week. you are seeing this tighten faster than we expected. the democrats need vice president biden and they need president obama to come out with strong performances over these next two debates or else it's going to get tighter and you're doing to start continuing to see governor romney pulling ahead with slight leads in some of these swing states. >> again, though, it was going to tighten. trust me, biden can't wait for the fight because, you know he loves to do these things. >> here's what i can tell you. it's going to be interesting to watch and great to talk about. we'll have you back to do that. roland martin, cnn political analysts, lenny mcallister.
thank you both, gentlemen, for joining us. >> thank you, zoraida. >> thank you, zoraida, for bringing the hammer on the time there. >> good gracious. as the death toll grows in the meningitis outbreak now sweeping through ten states, we're hearing from insiders who is speaking about the dangers of contaminated medications. we'll have more on that coming up. >> scary. don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. i"i'm not in favor of a a$5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan." mitchell: "the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded that mitt romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years."
vo: why won't romney level with us about his tax plan, which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he'd have to raise taxes on the middle class - or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here... how could we ever trust him here? capella university understands back from rough economic times. employees are being forced to do more with less. and the need for capable leaders is greater than ever.
elizabeth cohen joins us live from atlanta. elizabeth, you spoke to a former fda employee. what is she saying? >> she is saying that she saw this coming. sarah sellers used to work for the fda. she's a pharmacist. she testified on this issue to congress in 2003, and she said she went to go work for the fda specifically to help clean up compounding pharmacies. she's an expert in sterile compounding. this is these pharmacies in this current outbreak, the medicine was made in what's called the compounding pharmacies. there's been a lot of complaints about how they are and are not regulated. anyhow, she went to go work at the fda to write guidance on how to do the come pounding in a more sterile way. she did she never did it. they never had her do it. she ended up leaving the fda in frustration. that was in 2006. that document was supposed to come out back then. it is still, to this day, john, as we speak that document has never come out. that guidance from the fda has
never come it. >> why? what's taking so long here? >> right. i asked that question, and the fda said, it is, quote, in progress and they had no other comment. if you ask sarah sellers she will tell you there's money from compounding pharmacies pressing them not to do it. they say that's not true. >> this alarming outbreak continues. best advice coming up from pennsylvania congresswoman allyson schwartz. stay with us. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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here's what she told us. >> i think the advice, whether someone told me i just sort of feel it myself is to really do something you care about and i think that that's important and our profession alives, work lives, that you possibly can. >> try to do something that's not important at least once a day. >> join you on that one. >> that is all for "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm zoraida sambolin. "starting point" starts right now. >> our starting point this morning, what exactly happened in ben xwaz zi, new details and new admissions from the state departments a congress launches a full-scale hearing that is expected to be explosive. affirmative action. the supreme court takes up the racially charged issue today. why this time it could be struck down. the meningitis scare. dr. sanjay gupta travels to the pharmacy behind the drugs the feds say killed 11 people. what he finds is stunning. and from singe t